As part of Hartlepool’s mayoral investiture ceremony praise was given to the work of former ceremonial mayor Brenda Loynes, who passed away earlier this year after a long and brave fight against cancer.
As well as welcoming new ceremonial mayor Cllr Brian Cowie into the role, the event on Thursday (May 26) celebrated the charity fundraising carried out by Brenda.
It was announced at the ceremony a total of £7,125.52 was raised in 2021/22 through her fundraising, during which she was supported by her consort and husband, Cllr Dennis Loynes, the new deputy mayor.
The money was split between her two mayoral charities for the year, Alice House Hospice and Miles For Men & Walk For Women, with each receiving £3,562.76.
Cllr Dennis Loynes presented cheques to the organisations at the Civic Centre ceremony, with representatives from both praising Brenda, who was mayor from May 2019 until her death.
Janice Forbes, community fundraiser at Alice House, said: “Brenda always showed warmth and kindness to the hospice.
“Through her illness she still worked tirelessly to raise this money, which is a fantastic amount, it will go to provide support for our patients and their families.
“It’s been a very difficult year for us all but this means so much to us.”
Micky Day, founder of Miles for Men, added the incoming ceremonial mayor has “a big set of shoes to fill”.
He said: “Brenda Loynes was an amazing person, she’ll be sadly missed.
“Thank you so much for the support, we’re a self-funded charity, we rely on the support of things like this and the community raising funds for us.”
Sue Snowdon, the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, who also attended the civic ceremony, said it was a “privilege and a pleasure” to have had the opportunity to get to know Brenda and her husband.
She said: “Brenda Loynes was a very, very special person. She wasn’t just an inspiration, she was a role model and her family were so important to her, but so was this borough.
“With Brenda the most impressive thing for me was the fact that it wasn’t about the politics, it was about the people.”